The Warriors are off to a nice start at 7-5, but if therewas a game that didnt sit well with them it had to be a 107-101double-overtime loss to the Nuggets on Nov. 10.The Warriors let that one slip away, to put it kindly, blowinga late lead in overtime No. 2, and failing to make a couple of free throws inovertime No. 1 that could have sealed it.Theyll get a chance to make up for that discouraging one inDenver on Friday.The Warriors have won four of their past five games as theyprepare for a back-to-back set against the Nuggets and then Minnesota athome.Here are some things to watch for during Fridays gamebetween the Warriors and Nuggets:Neutralize Faried: In the Nuggetsovertime win against the Warriors on Nov. 10, nobody hurt the Warriors morethan Kenneth Faried. Hes an undersized power forward but he is athletic and heplays relentlessly hard. That is not an easy matchup for David Lee, and sodont be surprised if the Warriors try to use Draymond Green some onFaried.Faried had 18 points and 17 rebounds in that game againstthe Warriors, including nine offensive rebounds. The less of a factor Fariedis, the better for the Warriors.Guard play: Stephen Curry and KlayThompson both played well in the Warriors victory over the Nets on Wednesdayat Oracle.Curry shot 7-of-13 from the field and had 25 points againstBrooklyn. His shooting percentage has crept up to 41.7 percent after adifficult start, but all signs are that his stroke is coming around.Thompson went 10-for-19 from the floor against the Nets, thefirst time this season hes made half his shots or more in a game. Thompson isshooting just 35.4 percent from the field this season, which you figure willimprove.What also needs to improve from Thompson are his shotselection and decision-making.Keep rebounding: If theres one thing theWarriors have done consistently well this season its rebound. Right now, theyhave a plus-3.9 differential, good enough for fourth in the league. The Nuggetsare the best rebounding team in the league, with a plus-8.5 differential. Agood chunk of that is because of Faried.The Warriors have been getting rebounding from all of theirpositions, including their backcourt. If the Warriors can limit second shots bythe Nuggets, theyll have a chance to get a victory.
OAKLAND -- David West is as much a cleanup man as he is a basketball player.
The veteran power forward, masquerading as a center for the Warriors, cleans up behind teammates, cleans the clocks of opponents and probably cleans his plate after every meal. And he’d hit fourth in any baseball manager’s batting order.
The Warriors during their renaissance haven’t had such a personality. They’ve been a fun bunch, enjoying life, each other and their pillaging of the NBA.
West, 36, brings a more laconic dynamic, and it’s on full display as the Warriors lean into the final weeks of this regular season. He’s a leader who is producing and, more and more, winning over a fan base that was somewhat skeptical early this season.
“David West has been playing brilliantly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday night, after West came off the bench for a highly efficient 14-minute stint in a 114-100 win over the Kings.
Showcasing sharp passing, splendid shooting, solid rim protection and his usual old-jerky toughness, West totaled 8 points, four assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. The Warriors were plus-8 when he was on the floor.
Such production, it seems, is a bit of a bonus.
“He’s been very good for us as a veteran leader,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been playing well, but just his presence also has meant a lot to this team.
“D-West is just kind of a no-bull---- type of a guy. He doesn’t say much. But when he does, you know it means a lot. And everybody hears him.”
Said West: “It’s just about adjusting and learning personalities. Obviously, this group has been very successful. I just try to add my 2 cents where I feel like it fits. Try not to over-talk people. I speak to guys directly and just make sure that we’re all on the same page.”
West is in his 14th season. Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2003, he also has played for the Pacers and, last season, the Spurs, before joining the Warriors in July.
The question at the time was whether he still had a lot to give. West is a two-time All-Star and one of the most widely respected players in the league. But did he still have the legs to compete at a high level?
The answer is visible, particularly over the past month, since he returned from fractured left thumb on Feb. 23. West is shooting 53.0 percent from the field, he’s rebounding consistently and he has proven to be a spectacularly good passer -- easily one of the best in the league among big men.
Earlier this week, to quell any lingering concerns about how much athleticism he still has, West rose up and dunked over a crowd of three Dallas Mavericks. It was clock-cleaning at its finest.
“I’m just getting more comfortable,” West said, referring to his game and his locker-room influence. “We’ve developed good chemistry, communicating, harping on our defense more than anything else at this moment, because we feel that’s going to give us a chance if shots aren’t falling.”
West is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, $1.55 million. He sacrificed bigger dollars for a chance at his first championship. He’s doing his part. And he neither takes nor leaves any mess.
For the 44th time in the 2016-17 season, the Warriors dished out 30-plus assists in one game. Not only does that set a franchise record, Golden State is also the first to do so since one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
On a Steph Curry heave down the court that resulted in an Andre Iguodala running reverse dunk with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, the Warriors made history with their 31st assist of the game. The nifty assist made the Warriors the first team since the 1985-86 Showtime Lakers to hand out more than 30 assists 44 times in one season.
Last season, when the Warriors set an NBA record record with 73 wins, the team finished 43 games with the feat.
The '85-86 Lakers were looking to repeat as NBA champions 31 years ago but came up short in five games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.
Golden State finsihed Friday night with 37 assists in a 114-100 win over the Kings. Curry led the way with 12 dimes.